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Column

What we REALLY need in America

By HOWARD TROXLER
Published June 7, 2007


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In Washington they're trying to fix immigration again. They want to let people in while pretending to kick them out. Or maybe it's the other way around; I'm not sure.

Part of the current plan is a "point system" for deciding who gets in, on a scale of 100.

You'd get points for a desirable profession, having a good education, speaking English, getting good test scores and having family ties.

It seems a little snooty to me, especially the education part - 20 points for a graduate degree, 16 for a bachelor's, only 6 for high school.

I bet there are plenty of 6-point high school graduates who would make better citizens than, say, all the 20-point MBAs who ran Enron.

So if Congress doesn't mind, I'd like to suggest extra points for any applicant who:

- Can name all five rights in the First Amendment (30 points).

- Uses turn signals (10 points).

- Has no obnoxious ring tone (5 points).

- Tips 20 percent and is kind to servers (10 points).

- Has never appeared as a shouting panelist in a cable-TV debate (10 points).

- Somehow manages to be funny without having to insult entire races, religions or genders (15 points).

- Doesn't talk on cell phone in movies (10 points). Doesn't narrate the movie out loud out of being too (bleeping) stupid to realize there are other people watching too (30 points).

- Likes cats (5 points).

- Dogs, too (5 points).

- Picks up litter (30 points).

- Releases unused baitfish while saying, "Good luck, little guys" (5 points).

- Takes up only one parking space (15 points).

- Considers opposing viewpoints without getting mad or calling names (50 points).

- Mows own lawn (5 points) without a riding mower (10 points).

- Doesn't forward e-mails with the preface, "I usually don't forward these things, but ..." (15 points).

- Doesn't forward Internet rumors without checking a hoax-busting site such as www.snopes.com (15 points).

- Doesn't use a check in the cash-only line (10 points).

- Promises not to be clamoring in five years to keep out "those foreigners" (5 points).

- Grasps the concept that angry tailgating in bumper-to-bumper traffic is unlikely to speed things up (10 points).

- Reads a newspaper (10 points). Reads more than one newspaper for different viewpoints (30 points). Gets mad at something in the paper without threatening to cancel subscription (50 points).

- Can pitch in relief for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (100 points, automatic admission).

- Does not believe that allowing others to merge in traffic is an admission of weakness (15 points).

- Sides with school when child disciplined (20 points).

- Rides a bicycle (10 points) while obeying traffic laws (10 points).

- Owns no Speedos (10 points) or too-tight pink spandex (10 points).

- Doesn't ask directions in busy toll lane (15 points).

- Actually supports troops in some way other than a ribbon (75 points).

* * *

Feel free to add your own suggestions online at TroxBlog. Also currently on the blog: reaction to Tuesday's big Public Service Commission ruling, and a transcript of this week's live online chat.

To get to TroxBlog, click on the "Blogs" link at www.tampabay.com, or type in the address blogs.tampabay.com/troxler.

[Last modified June 7, 2007, 00:16:59]


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